Breast Augmentation Recovery

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Recovery from breast augmentation is about a five to seven day process for most patients. The breast augmentation procedure requires us to place a breast implant under the pectoralis muscle of the chest in order to achieve a more natural look and reduce the risk of capsular contracture (scar tissue formation) around the implant. To accommodate the implant, the pectoralis muscle must stretch and then heal, which generally accounts for the majority of the recovery process.

Below, I have answered some frequently asked questions regarding breast augmentation recovery.

Will I require assistance after surgery?

Most patients, especially those with small children, require some help for the first five to seven days after surgery. Friends, spouses, and significant others are excellent sources of both physical and emotional support.

How often will I need to return for follow-up visits?

Patients are usually seen the day after surgery, one week after surgery, two weeks after surgery, and then again one month after surgery. Long-term follow-up visits typically occur after three months, six months, and yearly thereafter.

Will I need to wear any dressings or special garments throughout the healing process?

Patients will initially have a small bandage applied over the incisions, but these will be removed the next day during their initial follow-up visit. At this time, patients are also changed from the surgery bra to a soft sports bra that we provide. This soft sports bra will need to be worn for a period of about three weeks following surgery, after which patients may wear whatever bra they desire.

Will I need to take any postsurgical medication?

We typically prescribe Percocet for discomfort, Valium for muscle relaxation, antibiotics, and nausea medicine should patients experience any of the aforementioned symptoms.

How soon can I return to my daily routines and exercise?

We ask our patients to take it easy for the first week, which typically means to keep their arms at their sides and not lift anything more than five pounds. During the one week follow-up visit we will begin a program of breast massage to keep the capsule around the implant soft and loose, and most patients are able to return to normal daily activities at this time. However, we do recommend refraining from light cardio exercises until the two week mark, and waiting at least three weeks before resuming full cardio and weightlifting. Returning to activity too early will not damage the results, but it will slow the recovery process and prolong any mild bruising and/or swelling.

What can I expect as far as scarring is concerned?

Scars generally take anywhere from six to 18 months for final maturation, depending on the patient’s genetics. We typically offer either the periareolar or inframammary approach to breast augmentation, so scars generally heal very well and are often barely visible several months after surgery. For the most part, scars should soften, fade, and become less visible over time.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the majority of patients feel completely normal about two to three weeks after surgery. By this time, most patients are used to the implants and any soreness has nearly resolved. We educate our patients to understand that healing is a process. You must give your body time to heal and recover, and if you do, you may be able to achieve beautiful, long-lasting results.

Dr. Neil Zemmel, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

Contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery

For more information about breast augmentation recovery, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zemmel, please contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery today.